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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Jane Mayer
Staff Writer for The New Yorker
CNNW 01/22/2014
Blitzer: Mike Rogers is a former FBI agent, chairman of the house intelligence committee. For him to suggest that Snowden may have been an agent working for Russian Intelligence from the very beginning, he must have some inkling of evidence to back that up, I suspect? Mayer: yeah, that's why I think it's important -- this is someone with a very important title who's making these allegations. And he talked about clues, unspecified clues. I called his office to see if I could get him to explain a little bit more and he didn't want to discuss it. He wouldn't comment further. But what he is saying is not only denied by Snowden, it also is contradicted by several investigations, the FBI's been investigating and the NSA's been investigating, and the CIA has been investigating. They've all been looking for the possibility that Snowden's working with foreign governments and at the moment, none of them have found evidence.
Jane Mayer
Staff Writer for The New Yorker
CNNW 01/22/2014
Blitzer: Were you surprised that Dianne Feinstein sort of said, I can't rule that out (Snowden may have been an agent working for Russian Intelligence from the very beginning)? She's the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mayer: Yes. In some ways, though, when I called her office, they basically said she was just asking questions. They're not really saying she's standing by this. In some way, she was being polite and saying, who knows? It's interesting that they would float something so serious.
Jane Mayer
Staff Writer for The New Yorker
CNNW 01/22/2014
Blitzer: He also told you this -- he said, no one has credibly shown any harm to national security. The president himself admitted both that changes are necessary and that he is certain the debate my actions started will make us stronger. Although the President in that long interview with David Remnick in your magazine did say there was major damage to national security. Mayer: He (the President) basically said that there was more damage than good that came out of it. But he has, as Mr. Snowden is saying, said that it has provoked a debate that has been useful in this country. And what Snowden said to me was, I've brought the American public to the table. And he also said, you know, if in fact he's smeared and his reputation is ruined, he said, if I end up in a ditch at the end of the day and reform comes out of this, it will be worth of it.
Jane Mayer
Staff Writer for the New Yorker
CNNW 01/22/2014
Blitzer: He (Snowden) also told you this -- he said, no one has credibly shown any harm to national security. The president himself admitted both that changes are necessary and that he is certain the debate my actions started will make us stronger. Although the President in that long interview with David Remnick in your magazine did say there was major damage to national security. Mayer: He (the President) basically said that there was more damage than good that came out of it. But he has, as Mr. Snowden is saying, said that it has provoked a debate that has been useful in this country. And what Snowden said to me was, I've brought the American public to the table. And he also said, you know, if in fact he's smeared and his reputation is ruined, he said, if I end up in a ditch at the end of the day and reform comes out of this, it will be worth of it.
Jane Mayer
Staff Writer for The New Yorker
KQED 05/13/2014
Narrator: But according to the rules Drake thought he had to follow, whatever he found had to safeguard Americans' privacy. He started by digging around inside the deepest reaches of the NSA's secret R&D programs. Mayer: And he stumbles into sort of a skunkworks, and he discovers that there was actually a program before 9/11 that could have, as they said, eavesdropped on the entire world. It's called ThinThread. Narrator: ThinThread, a program that could capture and sort massive amounts of phone and email data, was the brainchild of veteran crypto-mathematician Bill Binney. Binney: The whole idea was to build networks around the world of everybody and who they communicate with. Then you could isolate all the groups of terrorists. Once you could do that, you could use that metadata to select the information from all those tens of terabytes going by.
Jane Mayer
Staff Writer for The New Yorker
KQED 05/13/2014
Narrator: But to make sure the NSA would not spy on U.S. citizens, Binney and the other analysts had built in privacy protections. Mayer: It anonymizes who it's listening in on, unless there's a court warrant that makes the identity of that person clear. Drake: If you knew that it was U.S. person-related, it would be automatically encrypted. That was part of the design of ThinThread. Wiebe: It had a data privacy section. That was working very well, protecting citizens and innocent people by encrypting the data and not allowing analysts to look at it even. Narrator: Drake was ecstatic. The experimental program could monitor massive amounts of data, but the encryption would protect the privacy of individual Americans. He took it upstairs to the top deck.
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